If there's one must-get recruit in the 2015 class, it's four-star defensive tackle Jacob Daniel of Clovis North High School in Fresno.
He's 6-5 300 pounds, mobile, agile and agressive. He dominates the line of scrimmage, pushes opponents backward and knocks them down. Powerful and quick, he's a true difference-maker on the defensive front, and as Duck fans have seen, there just aren't many of them to go around, particularly in the Western United States.
What jumps out about him in the highlight video is the power coupled with non-stop effort. He's in the Top 100 of every major recruiting service, one of a handful of elite tackles in the entire country.
Daniel originally committed to Washington before the coaching change so distance is not an issue. USC is pursuing him heavily, and coaches Steve Sarkisian and Josh Wilcox already have a relationship with him.
Eye-catching talent: if you went to a high school game at Tom Flores Stadium in October, Jacob Daniel would be the player you'd notice (Craig Moffitt, varsitypreps.com photo). He's a rare talent with the ability to dominate a game from the middle of the field.
The Ducks ought to hustle, and get him to Eugene for the Spring Game, and pray for a lovely morning where the azaleas and rhododendrens are in bloom, 45,000 jubilant, enthusiastic people are in the stands and the coeds are in cute shorts and sandals with their toe nails painted green and yellow.
Daniel deserves the full court press and a new coat of paint for the house he visits at. He starts low, coiled like a spring. His arms come up with a powerful blast to the shoulder pads, and sometimes the linemen opposite him are stunned and defeated by the first blow.
Stanford, Oklahoma, Notre Dame and Arizona State have offered, so the Ducks better hurry. This is a young man with rare size and strength, as quick over the first ten yards as anyone in the backfield except a couple of Oregon running backs. He blasts people and uses his hands deftly, with an innate understanding and a hunger to win the battle. He plays like his momma is watching, like the opposing coach just ate the last piece of pie.
No all-night video game sessions if Daniel comes to visit. The Ducks offered him back in September of his junior year and he's gotten even better since then. Take him to the Eugene City Bakery for a piece of marionberry, and show him the all-time highlight reels of Haloti Ngata and Brandon Bair with Autzen Stadium erupting as quarterbacks go skittering to the turf.
The Clovis North Bronco is serious and articulate, and he does boxing workouts with his step dad to improve his footwork and hand-fighting skills.
His team went 11-3 last year, losing to Bakersfield in the championship game of the CIF Central Section playoffs. Daniel was selected to the Cal-HI Sports All-Underclass team first team defense. The team was ranked sixth in the section and beat rival Buchanan twice, inside pressure by Daniel setting up an 80-yard interception return in a 47-26 win in November.
Aiken has 1 more season to get something done. His unit was pushed around like a middle school team last year it was embarrassing for the team and the fans. If we don't have improvement we go a different direction. We need someone who can recruit real DT's. Start the process today...bring in a big fish this summer at the Opening instead of scrambling 10 days before signing day. The panic that we just felt by the coaching staff was pathetic to be honest. They thought Trey was in the bag, realized he wasn't then wildly threw date cards around the nation. Luckily Maloato bought in but only bc USC turned on him. Coach O is available, how in the heck do we not jump on that and double his salary?? He has a history of being a fantastic recruiter, being likeable and churning out pros. We have no issues getting offensive firepower. You know coach Neal is going to reel in star athletes he has IT. If we don't get Daniel, a guy right down the street, we will never bring in an elite DT and we should focus on something else.
The best recruiting tool Oregon has is on the field performance. We're going to recruit better if we go to a major bowl or the final four playoff than if we go to the Sun Bowl or the Alamo Bowl. All the fancy visits in the world won't matter if we don't have that winner aura.
He sounds and looks perfect, but he's NFL size already pushing HS kids around. I see Aiken has offered him, along with 18 other schools. Aiken has two DT offers out, the other to TX A&M commit Daylon Mack. Also offers to 3 DE's. Maybe Ron needs a Polynesian work-cation? In contrast, Greatwood has 6 OT and 3 OG offers out.
But as someone commented recently, Ducks to need to feature these DTs more in attack mode, not only as spaceholders so the DEs/LBs can be the stars. They want to be noticed by the NFL. I'll be watching to see what RA and DP do with the D and Dline this season.
I like the idea someone had, maybe DrakeMallard to fly these people in on a private jet. Even Fresno is not necessarily easy travel to Eugene.
@lexusduck Orgeron wants to be a head coach after a solid stint as the interim guy at USC. According to 247Sports, Orgeron made $1.2 million at SC. Even matching that would seriously throw off the Ducks salary scale.
@duckified The winning aura and excitement is vital for the Ducks. They can create a buzz by achieving all their potential in 2014.
I know they are ordinarily not big on Heisman hype campaigns, but I think they should apply their full marketing and branding muscle in promoting Mariota this season. His success could have the impact of that Times Square billboard in 2001.
@rgyle Right on rgyle.
I gotta wonder if Mrs. Aiken would like an extended winter tour of the Pacific Island Nations.
I'll bet she would.
Then come spring thaw, Ron can head back to the Midwest to round up some of the corn-fed beef they grow back there.
@rgyle The one thing I'd say in Aiken's defense is that there are far fewer qualified candidates at DT. True nose tackles are the rarest breed in football. But yeah, the Ducks need to offer ten of them by June, even it means an extended stay in Pago Pago.
Absolutely right about getting this guy in for the Spring game, and hopefully the new D line will be one that a player with Daniel’s talent will be utilized to the max. It seems like as much as the geographical issues that Oregon faces, being a “spaceholder” had no appeal to DT prospects.
@SonomaDuck It's a great idea, but according to my research on Google, a violation of NCAA rules, outlawed since 2004.
@SonomaDuck I think it's NCAA illegal, rationalized as 'leveling the playing field,' when it actually tilts it in favor of schools in/near cities with direct flights or schools close ( a day or less drive) to PSA hotbeds.
Agreed, Oregon doesn’t have to put a billboard back up, but it has to be energy overload on all fronts next season, from the D line to Mariota for Heisman. He won’t need much; he was leading the conversation until his knee took him down, and he will be one of the leading candidates to start next season. Michigan State @ home early in the season is a great opportunity for the Ducks to make a statement.